Archive for August, 2019


8.28.19 … “The ‘paradox of hospitality’ is that it wants to create emptiness … a friendly emptiness where strangers can enter and discover themselves as created free …”

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2019 Labyrinth Walks, Lake Junaluska Conference Center/Memorial Chapel-Lake Junaluska NC:

There are two people who will almost always go with me on a labyrinth excursion: my sister and Ruth Ann.

Although I had just traveled here on Monday, RA was up to do it again today. So we headed out and had a delightful walk.

Lake Junaluska is named for Chief Jualuska.

“Junaluska, Cherokee warrior and hero of Andrew Jackson‘s victory over the Creeks at Horseshoe Bend in 1814, was born near the head of the Little Tennessee River in either Macon County, N.C., or Rabun County, Ga. Although the date of his birth is uncertain, he signed four federal affidavits in 1849 indicating his age as “about seventy” and he was listed as seventy-two in the 1851 Cherokee census. The names of his parents are not known.

“Junaluska” is a corruption of the warrior’s second Cherokee name. According to folk tradition, when he was born, his parents had great difficulty in finding an appropriate name for him. One day when his carrying frame was placed against a tree while his parents worked, the frame fell over. He was then named Gul-ka-la-ski or “one falling from a leaning position.” He was so-called until 1814. In that year he vowed to exterminate every Creek in battle, but, despite an overwhelming victory, did not achieve his goal. As a result, he called himself Tsu-na-la-hun-ski or “one who tries, but fails.” Over the last four decades of his life, the name was gradually Anglicized into its present form.”

Source: Junaluska | NCpedia,

Afterwards we took a long meandering drive around the lake and then a long meandering drive back to the cabin.

And I found this recently on a friend’s fab page:

“’Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place.’

The ‘paradox of hospitality is that it wants to create emptiness … a friendly emptiness where strangers can enter and discover themselves as created free; free to sing their own songs, speak their own languages, dance their own dances; free also to leave and follow their own vocations.’” – Henri Nouwen

Since we love the mountains, history and labyrinths, we’ll go back!



8.26.19 … seven books in seven days …

I actually enjoy these social media challenges, and I’ve done this one before. Here was this year’s challenge:

Ok, _—–, I accept the challenge – ask one friend each day to post the cover of 7 books they love, with no reason or explanation. Just the cover. ——, – you’re 1 0f 7!

And these were my choices. but here I get to explain them. 🙂

1. Jane Austen’s “Pride & Prejudice” – this book links me to high school and my mother and my sister and my daughter. It is great literature, chick lit at its best and a case study in film literature adaptions … all aspects of literature I enjoy. And each time I read the book, I discover new things. When I posted it this year, one friend noted that it was from Mrs. Lauderdale’s English class. And I retold the story of how I had rediscovered my copy … Twenty+ years ago, I was visiting my parents and found this copy in my mom’s bedside reading library. Since it was clearly mine, I confiscated it. Shortly thereafter, my mom called me and asked me if I had taken HER P&P. I said that I had, and she responded, “You didn’t even ask?” She noted that it had been her copy for 20 or so years at that point. I sent her a new copy.

And of corse this article about the library at Jane’s brother’s home and to which she had access fascinated me …

 “I am now alone in the Library, Mistress of all I survey.”

Source: Rebuilding Jane Austen’s Library | Lapham’s Quarterly,

2. A.A. Milne’s “Winnie the Pooh”: A friend posted this on 8.21, the birthday of the “real” Christopher Robin:

“’You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.’

Today is the birthday of the real life Christopher Robin Milne, son of A.A. Milne, author of the Pooh stories. He was a bookshop owner in Dartmouth, England and was wounded in WWII. He never wanted any royalties from his father’s work, and gave his original stuffed animals to his father’s editor who, in turn, donated them to the NY Public Library.”

And that of course reminded me of the fact that my father’s nickname for me as a child was “Pooh.” He said I was soft and round. He was kind to his rather rotund child. And of course my favorite gift as a child was my 1964 stuffed Disney version Winnie-the-Pooh. It has sat faithfully on or near my bed my entire life.

And since I was at my sister’s I asked her if she had our family’s Pooh books. And of course she did …

3. J.K Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”: This book and the others in the Harry Potter series connect me to my children. I loved reading them to my kids, listening to the audio versions as we traveled, waiting in line for their release at midnight and anticipating and then seeing each of the movies. It was a favorite part of being a parent!

4. Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express”: My mother must have read each Agatha Christie book a million times. I see her with the paperback books in her hands in a favorite chair, curled up in her bed or sunbathing at the beach, and always with a cozy mystery in her hands. Her eyes have failed in the last few years (she’s 92), and she repeatedly has said, “If only I could see, I could read.” Where I have found pleasure in taking her to ride, my sister has found pleasure and given her pleasure in reading to her. And their current book is ” Murder on the Orient Express.” I have enjoyed listening to my sister read to her and have taken on a chapter or two, as well. It is a very intimate thing to share a book in this way.

5. Madeleine L’Engle’s “And It Was Good: Reflections on Beginnings, ” with forward by Rachel Held Evans: I found this book because I was researching Rachel Held Evans who died this spring at 37 and was a well-known Christian author. When I saw that she had done a new forward to this book that I did not know existed by Madeline L’Engle, I thought that would be a nice introduction. I found that Rachel’s forward expressed many of my thoughts about “St. Madeleine.” In addition, I loved this book and thought it would be a great gift for anybody that was experiencing a beginning, especially a new mother.

6. Amor Towles’ “A Gentleman in Moscow”: Everyone needs a good friend to recommend books. Many years ago I realized that person was my mother-in-law. Although I stay away from the thrillers or those with too much sex or gore because that is not what I read. But if she tells me it is well written and a good story, I will follow her lead. And this book was just that … and it’s already been picked up for film adaptation. What more could I ask?

7. Jennifer Robson’s “The Gown”: This was an historical novel, and it was good. This is a genre I love and this is my most recent read of this genre.

And then a friend made aware of this list … maybe I’ll do this for my 60th birthday!

Source: The best books to read at every age, from 1 to 100 – Washington Post



8.26.19 … “May Peace Prevail On Earth”

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2019 Labyrinth Walks, Lake Junaluska Conference Center/Memorial Chapel-Lake Junaluska NC:

As I walked my dog Albert this morning down the drive at the Westervelt Cabin, I noticed an abundance of yellow flowers. And as I drove the long way via the Blue Ridge Parkway from the cabin to Lake Junaluska, I realized that this is peak wildflower season in Western North Carolina. I laughed at myself as I wondered whether wildflowers are just a pretty word for pretty weeds.

As I mentioned, I took the long way on the Parkway. So I headed up 151, turned west on the Parkway and then turned north on 215 which goes into Canton NC. This is the looonnng way. But I enjoyed it because two years ago at this time I shared the solar eclipse viewing of a lifetime at Sunburst with RuthAnn, her father and mother and John and Albert. So it was nice to drive by and remember that day. As I got closer to Canton, I drove past both federal and state agricultural research program sites. I turned down the road to the state site because it had a beautiful field of sunflowers, and I wanted to get a picture… Interesting, there was a sign that I should anticipate showing photo ID before entering the facility. Hmmmm, I wonder what is going on here. Sunflower Revolution! I also laughed to myself because I never thought of Western North Carolina as a big farming area. But there were some big farms in these hills.

Also, as I approached Canton, I entered one of the traffic islands that you see everywhere in suburban Charlotte and suburban Atlanta. Why do we have one in suburban Canton NC?

And now on to Lake Junaluska … this Methodist Retreat is called an “assembly”. What exactly is an “assembly?”

On the road into the Assembly , I saw tons of pale greenish yellow hydrangeas. To be honest, I don’t remember this color for most of my life, but clearly it is a common hydrangea color. Or are they something different?

Every cottage around the lake has been meticulously maintained with wonderful flower gardens and they were at their peak!

The chapel was a gorgeous old stone chapel, very simple. And it had an absolutely gorgeous garden, perfectly maintained on all sides overlooking the lake. As I walked up, I noticed a garden on the right side of the entrance to the chapel that had a Peace Pole centering it, and to the left , a garden with the labyrinth. The labyrinth was a seven circuit labyrinth made of stone pavers with grass boundaries.

I placed Albert on the tether in the flowers bed to the left of the labyrinth. He was not happy.

I began my walk. Before I entered, I read the marker. It told me to still my mind, so I used Psalm 46:10 as my mantra: “Be still and know that I am God.”

It was a pleasant walk with the exception of large amounts of bird poop, I assumed geese poop. The weather was overcast and in the 70s. Humor… Albert decided to do his business on the side while I was walking…i guess he thought the geese gave their permission. What goes around comes around.

Taking Albert to a labyrinth is not a quieting experience; I knew that. But it was August, and we were definitely in the “dog days of summer,” so I had to welcome Albert on my walk.

I circled around the church afterwards … Mother Mary and St. Francis welcomes me to their gardens. And the peace pole anchored another space. “May Peace Prevail On Earth.”



8.24.19 … “our lives, our all” … “Let that sink in.”

Several weeks ago, I had a face book post that garnered many comments. It was about taglines:

I’ve always enjoyed tag lines … whether they be associated with a brand or a movie/tv show. I think I was always aware of them because my dad always recited them, especially newspaper taglines. Recently, I’ve noticed a few friends using a tag line here, and I smile or chuckle. I’m trying to decide what mine will be.

What Is a Tagline?

Taglines (also called straplines, tags, slogans, or brand lines) can be inspirational, like a product philosophy, or they can be something fun and memorable. While some can impel you to be better, do more, or go further, others are simply a fun play on words.

Here are a few of mine:

“Just do it!”

“Open Happiness”

“Covers Dixie Like the Dew”

“All the News That’s Fit to Print”

“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee”

“And that’s the way it is.”

In my senior high school annual, we could post a favorite quote. Mine was … “I was gratified to be able to answer promptly, and I did. I said I didn’t know.” -Mark Twain

And yesterday I heard a Dan Fogelberg song, so I shot Elizabeth a note because I knew she liked his work back in the day. She shot back that her senior yearbook quote was “lessons learned are like bridges burned, you only need to cross them but once…” ❤️🤓

I guess that’s what got me thinking along these lines.

Also, modern day hashtags serve a similar function. Every bride and groom has a hashtag associated with their wedding day for folks to post and tag on social media. Branding of a wedding … interesting.

We also always tried to figure out what tv and radio station call letters meant …

WGN Television’s call letters are also derived from the [Chicaog Tribune] “World’s Greatest Newspaper” slogan.

But I had to rethink this in light of this article I read today:

Today, I saw this … And I always enjoy a good bumper sticker. But this article made me rethink the taglines conversation …

“Imagine if instead of wearing our beliefs on the back of our cars or on the front of our baseball caps, we set out to try to discern together God’s hopes for one another, for the world, for all of creation? None of which can be contained in a few sentences of our own making. All of which demand our energy, intelligence, imagination and love — or, to put it succinctly enough for a bumper sticker: our lives, our all. Such deep engagement in such an angry time as this requires every ounce of Christian charity we can muster. Such deep engagement in such an angry time as this might be the gift of grace disciples of Jesus Christ can offer a culture enamored with not only winning, but punishing those we desperately want to see lose. Let that sink in.”

Source: Bumper sticker theology – The Presbyterian Outlook



8.22.19 … “a beautiful lady with pigtails named Princess Summerfallwinterspring. I was taken with that name and I have always remembered it because it has such a flowing sound and because it conveys a wonderful message of the circle of time”

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2019 Labyrinth Walks, The Labyrinth of Rome- Rome GA:

I decided I would do a little adventuring today. I wandered from my sister’s residence to Rome Ga. As I drove up from Atlanta, I thought to myself … when will Atlanta end?

I took I75 to Cartersville and then drove another 20+ miles. And somewhere between Cartersville and Rome, Atlanta ended. I was in wide open area, free of suburban metro Atlanta.

The entry into Rome is done quite well. There were what looked like Roman ruins (an art installation entitled “Portus Futurus”) and then a highway lined with trees. And then i crossed over a river, and entered a real town.

As with most southern towns, the churches jump out at you. But this town has lots of green space and lots of hills … are there seven hills as in Rome? And then I realize I am about to cross another river. I am going to have to look at a map. How many hills? How many rivers? 7 hills and 3 rivers.

I found the labyrinth near one of the rivers, and I was surprised. This was no ordinary labyrinth. It was an eight circuit TIERED labyrinth…

Photo credit: Georgia’s Rome Office of Tourism Labyrinth of Rome – Rome, Ga. – Georgia’s Rome Office of Tourism,

I have never seen anything like this one. And it’s made of stone and incorporates an underpass culvert under the adjacent Road.

So I had to research this one as I walked …

“The Labyrinth of Rome was created as an adaptive reuse of what originally was an amphitheater built by the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s. Upon finding the nearest Labyrinth to be 50 miles away, the late Ed Baker worked with local government to establish this corner of Rome’s historic Jackson Hill. It contains 5,490 bricks (laid end-to-end, over a kilometer) weighing a total of 24,705 pounds.”

Source: Georgia’s Rome Office of Tourism Labyrinth of Rome – Rome, Ga. – Georgia’s Rome Office of Tourism,

I was not alone here. There was a small construction/landscaping crew working on the water drainage and landscaping. One of the workers decided to walk. I saw him walk up to the sign, read it and then start… We smiled every time we were near.

I spoke to each of the men as I passed nearby. One engaged in conversation. As I told my labyrinth story, he was excited to find out I was from Charlotte. His brother is Tom Schulz, the labyrinth artist/designer/builder for three Charlotte labyrinths: Myers Park Baptist, Presbyterian Hospital and McCrorey YMCA/ Almetta Howey Alexander Labyrinth.

I was meant to be here at this time to have this conversation. John told me about this labyrinth. This space was created as a drainage culvert to move large amounts of water off of this hill. During the 30s, it was adapted as an amphitheater built by the Works Progress Administration. And then in the 2010 it was adaptively repurposed as a labyrinth.

John Schulz recommended I visit the visitor’s center and the recently redone garden at the clock tower. I did both.

I obtained flyers about Rome and read all the historic markers at the Visitors‘ Center. Very interesting.

I then headed from the top of one hill to the top of another, where the 1870s clock tower sits. The clock tower was built as a water tower. There was also a public school established in 1883 on this site.

I spent a few minutes wandering around the beautiful pollinator garden, part of the Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Trail.

One of the sign boards highlighted John’s work here:

John’s Artist Statement:

I believe a garden for a place as special as the Rome Clocktower should have a theme. What better theme than Time to go with the Clocktower Garden. As the clock chimes to announce the time of day, the Garden will follow time through the seasons, announcing the shifts with changing flowers and foliage. Something will be in bloom every day of the year. A couple of small paths will meander away from and then back into the main existing walkway. These paths will take the viewer into and through the Garden, which will allow one to enjoy the fourth dimension of the Garden – time. As the Clock chimes out the hours, visitors will be able to view the Garden from the inside out, enjoying the dimensions of height, depth and width. The Clock chimes and the changing of the flowers and foliage throughout the year will offer the fourth dimension of time and the many and various changes that accompany its passage. After a grow-in period, there should be a flower in the Garden every day of the year. When I was a child and television was just starting to influence children, there was a show, which featured a puppet named Howdy Doody. The moderator and main character was named Buffalo Bob, and one of the regular guests was a beautiful lady with pigtails named Princess Summerfallwinterspring. I was taken with that name and I have always remembered it because it has such a flowing sound and because it conveys a wonderful message of the circle of time. The Garden and the Clocktower will work together to present the “Fourth Dimension.”

Source: Georgia’s Rome Office of Tourism As Time Goes By Garden – Rome, Ga. – Georgia’s Rome Office of Tourism,

And here’s a bit on John’s labyrinth project:

“We’re going to do a garden, starting with dry river beds,” Schulz said. “One of the river beds flows down into the labyrinth from the civic center while the other comes down from the tourism office side of the Civic Center parking lot.”

The river bed has a fabric liner that is filled with 25 tons of river rock so by the time run-off reaches the labyrinth, it should be fairly clear and the rocks should catch any litter.

To further beautify the area, Schulz has plans to plant fern beds along with tea olive plants and gardenias — both plants that won’t be devoured by the deer that frequent the area coming off Jackson Hill and the Burwell Creek wetlands.

Schulz’s objective is to make it look as natural as possible, with the exception of a Japanese bridge across one of the dry river beds.

Source: Old labyrinth on Jackson Hill getting a new look | Local News |,

And after I had walked around and viewed Rome, I knew I would be back …


And I must copy and paste this from John’s Facebook posts …

August 7, 2019

I’ve been doing a little historical research on the amphitheater/labyrinth which was originally built as part of a WPA city park project in 1935. The plans called for a lot of construction from “native stone” and my mind went back to visits with the late Ron Cescutti who was a stone mason descended from Italian stone masons who came to the area from Italy. I was reading some public records and found the following mention of Antonio Cescutti who supervised the stone masonry of the park project. Antonio really got around. You’ve seen his work at the Grove Park Inn and in many other plaes:

“Antonio J. Cescutti was the overseer for the stone work at the park. A native of Udine Italy, Cescutti came to the United States in 1904. In 1912 his wife, Caterina, and son, Ettore, joined him and they settled in Atlanta. Working primarily in the Southeast as a Master Mason in the brick and stone masonry trade, Cescutti worked on such projects as the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina, the Reynolds House on Sapelo Island, and the Spalding House in Atlanta.”

This is turning into an interesting project.


8.19.19 … images of God …

Do you ever feel like your thoughts and conversations circle around each other?

I’m in Atlanta and went to Roswell Presbyterian Church today. Jeff Myers, RPC’s senior minister and previously a minster at North Avenue Presbyterian Church, my childhood church, began a sermon series entitled “Teach Us to Pray” on the Lord’s Prayer. On the way to church, my sister and her husband and I chatted. I said what is something new that we will learn today? I mentioned that Pope Francis has been reconsidering the temptation part of the Lord’s Prayer: “and lead us not into temptation, but deliver me from evil.”


“It is not a good translation because it speaks of a God who induces temptation,” he told Italian TV. “I am the one who falls. It’s not him pushing me into temptation to then see how I have fallen.

“A father doesn’t do that; a father helps you to get up immediately. It’s Satan who leads us into temptation – that’s his department.”

According to the Bible, Jesus taught the words to his disciples when they asked him how they should pray.

Some have expressed concern about changes to the wording. Meredith Warren, a lecturer in biblical and religious studies at Sheffield University, said: “This new version of the Lord’s Prayer tries to avoid implying that God has some hand in evil.

[end quote]

Source: Led not into temptation: pope approves change to Lord’s Prayer | World news | The Guardian,

Jeff’s sermon was entitled, “Does Prayer Make a Difference?”

Two things struck me in the sermon:

1. That Jesus instructed us to pray to “OUR Father” and thus prayer is a communal thing … but NOT a public thing. And that, yes, Jesus instructed us in this context to pray to “Our FATHER.” So at least in this context, we can think of the figurehead as a loving and wise father as Jesus did.

2. He specifically referenced a conversation while at North Avenue with Tom Cousins, Atlanta real estate developer and philanthropist and father of Westminster classmate Lillian. Tom Cousins had said he learned about prayer from Dr. Vernon Broyles because when Dr. Broyles prayed you knew he was was in prayer with God. It was obvious that he was in community with God.

As we walked out, I told Jeff about my response to a question asked by Paul Hanneman in one of the first sessions when he lead a study on Richard Rohr’s “The Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation.” The question was: “What is your earliest image of God?” My response was the senior minister of my childhood church, Dr. Vernon Broyles, in his black robes in the pulpit at North Avenue Church.

Paul had asked me to unpack that image and asked if it was a scary image. I responded: “No! Dr. Broyles was a wonderful grandfather figure who was both brilliant and funny.” I was never scared of him.

So as I mentioned, lots of thoughts and ideas and memories are circling around in my head today. I’m waiting to see where I exit the circle or do I just go full circle and start again. I think I need a labyrinth walk. “Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking



8.18.19 … Atlanta’s current population at the Darlington … 6,885,071

Driving Mama Lindsey …

So the brother is at the beach and I decided to take on Sunday with my mom. Nails, maybe? She vetoed that. But since I had already moved toward our favorite nail spot on Roswell near Mt. Paran, I drove across Mt. Paran to Northside, thinking and talking about families who have lived in that part of town. The Wayts lived there for a bit, and the Blacks forever, and the Everetts on Cave.

At Northside, I turned south and then decided to drive through Westminster. I went in the front gate and out the back. To be honest, the place has changed a great deal and is only barely recognizable as the place where I attended. I guess that’s what happens when you rarely visit.

Once on West Wesley we headed east and then at the last minute I drove down Bohler to Peachtree Battle. I don’t often drive along this stretch Peachtree Battle so I enjoyed this stretch along the creek and between Northside and Habersham. Once we crossed Northside, mom and I reminisced about my E. Rivers elementary friends who lived on PB or nearby … the Burdetts, the Smiths, the Sharps and family friends the Georges. And my favorite house, one I have never been in, which has lots of angles in the roof … it looks like a cottage. Then back by E. Rivers and south on Peachtree.

After crossing over the right, we swing into the shopping center that looks like Buckingham Palace where Aunt Jane’s shop was. So many memories.

Then to Brookwood Hills. Today we enter at Huntington and share stories about our friends on this street … the Wards, the Ingrams, the Fergusons… and the back by 139 …

On Peachtree we head north to Buckhead … checking out the current population … 6,885,071 …

My mom actually lived at the Darlington for a short period before she married. She roomed with a girl she had met at the boarding house behind First Presbyterian. Catherine Smith was her name, one of the few people mom lost track with fairly early in life.

And then back home … Andrews to W Paces to Valley to Habersham to Old Ivy to Wieuca to Peachtree …


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 621 other followers

August 2019
« Jul   Sep »